Pitch-perfect office acoustics

Fine-tuning the acoustics of an exposed office ceiling

Solar Spectrum, a distributor of solar panel systems in the US, chose new offices in a 38-year-old concrete tower in downtown Kansas City. Working with Hoefer Wysocki Architecture, the company decided to open up the space to create a modern office design with exposed steel pipes, ductwork and concrete.

This created a dual challenge for acoustic performance in the office. Firstly, Solar Spectrum wanted to reduce noise in the office without making the environment too quiet for their young salespeople, who feed off an energetic atmosphere. Secondly, the acoustic insulation had to work in an exposed and complex ceiling space.

The company harnessed the natural sound-absorbing qualities of stone wool, using Rockfon ceiling systems and acoustic islands which were supplied with short lead times. Rockfon was chosen for its smooth appearance and positioned strategically throughout the workspace to give precise control of acoustics. The installation integrated with all existing components in the ceiling, and the lightweight, modular sizes of Rockfon panels – which are 50-75% lighter than other ceiling panels – made fitting quick and easy.

Rockfon panels and islands now reflect 86% of the light from the exterior windows into Solar Spectrum’s office interior. This maximises natural daylight and minimises the need for electric lighting – helping to reduce energy costs. The boards are also non-combustible, and resist mould and bacteria to ensure cleaner, healthier indoor air.

Today, Solar Spectrum’s modern offices reflect their culture of openness, interaction and energy. The sound absorption property of Rockfon has been optimised precisely to the company’s needs and contributes to the distinctive design of the offices.

Kansas City, USA

Project location

Solar Spectrum
Kansas City

“As we opened up the space, we were also taking away everything that absorbs sound and showcasing all the reflective surfaces. We needed something more than a carpet to manage the acoustics. We knew of various standard acoustic ceiling clouds, but weren’t satisfied in what we were finding. Then, we came across Rockfon. From our research, Rockfon acoustic islands were the best thing available to meet the acoustic design and aesthetic needs, and they included recycled content.”

James Evrard

Associate and Project Architect at Hoefer Wysocki Architecture

Project Data

Year 2015
Building Type Office
Application Stone Wool Ceiling Panel
Product type Rockfon Alaska, Rockfon Island, Chicago Metallic